Characteristics of Information
There are various characteristics of information including relevance, accuracy, timeliness, comparability and completeness. For a retail business, the most important characteristic of information is accuracy. Accuracy means that information should be arithmetically correct, free of errors and should represent a real attribute or value (Gorla, Sommers & Wong, 2010). Information accuracy in the retail setting is important as retail stores heavily rely on error free information in regards to what products are bought more frequently every week and what type of customers buy these items.
Accuracy of data also enables a retail store to track arithmetically and grammatically correct information on sales trends, which items are more profitable and which items to add or eliminate based on the sales trend. For instance, while making decisions on whether or not to continue stocking groceries, a retail store might need to assess accurate information on which customers are likely to buy groceries the current week, what type of customer made the most customer purchase the previous week, and how this grocery purchase information compares to the grocery purchase information 12 months ago. With accurate information, the retail store will be able to make intelligent decisions on whether to add or eliminate the grocery products.
Another reason why accuracy is the most important characteristic of information in the retail setting is that it helps in ensuring customer satisfaction. For instance, the price posted on the shelf should be the same with the scanned price for every item being sold. Otherwise, a potential or repeat customer will be upset if the scanned price of a tomato puree is different from the price indicated on the shelf. Whereas other characteristics of information are also important in the retail business, accuracy is more important.